Museum Hours:

Saturday 10-6

Sunday 12-5


Early Television Stations

W9XBK, WBKB - Chicago

W9XBK was the second electronic station on the air in Chicago, starting transmission in 1939. (the first was W9XZV Zenith Radio Corporation's experimental outlet on channel 1), W9XBK transmitted at 60-66 megacycles, then television's channel 2.  Balaban & Katz also held the experimental television licenses for W9XBT, W9XBB, and W9XPR. When the VHF frequencies were changed by the FCC, W9XBK found itself transmitting at 66-72 megacycles, the current channel 4.  W9XZV ended up on channel 2.  Late in 1943, the station would become the first commercial station in Chicago, WBKB. Here is a story at Chicago Television about WBKB, and an article about a program created in 1947

Broadcasting, December 1 1939

DuMont camera, during World War Two

News reporter Ann Hunter pointing to a WWII map of Italy. Early example
of women as on camera news reporters.

The Control Room. Again, notice the all-female staff. During the war it was common for women to take over jobs which previously were exclusively for men.

(Above 3 photos courtesy of Steve Dichter)

Broadcasting, January 5 1942. The set is a General Electric HM-226

Courtesy of Steve Dichter

1944 telecast

A picture of the staff from the mid 40s. Two cameras can be seen; one is a DuMont (right) and the other is a homemade camera (left).

Closeup of the homemade camera

Closeup of the DuMont camera

Courtesy of Cliff Benham

Another view of the homemade camera

Timely Events, January 14 1945

Late 40s camera